26 May 2017

Building resilience in junior doctors

A recent article in The Conversation, What needs to happen to build resilience and improve mental health among junior doctors, highlighted the problems of young doctors coping with extraordinary psychological distress.

Authors Richard Murray and Brendan Crotty referred to two Beyond Blue reports: The Mental health of doctors: a systematic literature review, from 2010, and the 2013 National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students. Female doctors particularly are at risk, with one study finding them to have a huge 146% higher risk of suicide than the general population.

Various factors are at play - a culture of not admitting weakness, long hours, workplace bullying, and intense competition for jobs with the current large numbers of medical graduates. Murray and Crotty offer various solutions and a need for changes in the nature of healthcare so that it is "more integrated, person-centred and community-based".

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